This is a region that’s uniquely diverse, with lakeside palm trees and glaciers, a tropical climate and snowy roofs, emerald green rivers with sandy beaches, and crystal clear mountain lakes. Trail runners are sure to find their new favourite routes for exploring the region and replenish their energy in the great outdoors.
There are so many ways of getting to know the region. One of them is by running. Fast soles carry you everywhere: the activity is adventurous and immerses you in nature. Trail running is no longer a novelty, and Ascona-Locarno has trails to quicken every runner’s pulse.
The fascination of trail running: pushing your body to the limit – and beyond. That said, trail running isn’t necessarily about performance – on the contrary, it’s more about clearing your head, being out in the fresh air and enjoying nature on your own or with friends. It doesn’t take much. A beautiful landscape (of which there’s an abundance here), appropriate footwear, maybe a running backpack – and poles, because the going can be very steep. Talking of vertical metres: the tours usually start at low altitude (alt. 300 m or so), which makes them ideal for runners keen on ascents as well as those who prefer to avoid too many ups and downs.
Trail running can be practised on any footpath, of course, but Ascona-Locarno has shortlisted seven routes for your enjoyment. The 132 km or so lead through the region’s green valleys, high above the lake and along rivers to natural beauty spots and fantastic vantage points.
The region’s 1400 km of footpaths invite you to explore the beauty of the valleys, the forests and the upper reaches above the lake. The seven suggested routes are a great way for beginners as well as experienced runners to practise the sport they love and enjoy the varied terrain. The Valle Verzasca Trail leads along the glittering Verzasca on a well-maintained footpath, while the descent of the Pizzo Leone Trail is a technically interesting challenge comprising 1782 vertical metres. Nowhere is effort rewarded with such enchanting views as on the Monte Gambarogno Trail and nowhere is it wilder than in the Onsernone valley on the Pizzo Salmone Trail. Discover the most scenic running routes of the Ascona-Locarno region and stop off for something refreshing in a grotto or a cooling swim. Trail running is possible all year round in the Lago Maggiore region thanks to the mild climate and wide range of routes. It’s all in the preparation! Plan your tours well: mobile network coverage can be patchy and drinking water is hard to find in places – bear in mind that the Ticino can get very warm.